New gym aiming to get Cork fighting fit with friendly ethos

New gym aiming to get Cork fighting fit with friendly ethos
Jack Kenny, Owner of One Life Fitness Gym located on Mulgrave Road.Credit: Damian Coleman.

How did the business start?

We opened in January. We started setting up in October. It was a fast turnaround. January was the perfect time to start, and we did a big presale launch up to it.

I would have been involved in the gym industry since I was 17, and I’m now 28. I started off in Tallaght, then came down to Cork, working in other gyms.

Then I decided to go down my own route with my own brand, and that’s where One Life Fitness started.

I wanted to do longer classes, look after the client a bit more, offer personal training assessments.

I thought Cork needed a boutique-style gym.

What service does the gym offer?

We have L1FT, BOX, and R1DE. It’s your three elements of training. L1FT is your strength training and weights, R1DE is your cardiovascular, and BOX is cardiovascular and a bit of upper body strength.

I went over to London two or three times and checked out some of the boutique clubs there where it’s £25 for one class. With us, €39.99 a month covers all your classes and you get a personal training assessment with a staff member.

We’ll recommend what kind of classes you should be doing. For example, Monday you might do a R1DE class — high-end cardio for 45 minutes. Tuesday you might be doing a couple of interval sets in our state of the art gym. That could be upper-body, day three could be lower body, and day four could be another class.

We tailor it to the person and what they’re looking for. If someone is trying to tone up, we might recommend a couple of more L1FT classes and incorporate more weights into their programme. If they’re looking to get fit and drop a lot of weight really fast, we’d push them into the BOX and R1DE classes.

Or, you can just come in and do your own thing if you don’t want a programme.

We’re still developing this brand to get it where it’s going to be.

How did you end up in this location?

It was Soundtrax before. The owner of the building was here for about 20 years, and it was a lot different than it is now. There was offices upstairs where our R1DE studio is now. What’s now the studio for our classes was all speakers and DJ equipment, and downstairs, where we have our gym, was just shelves everywhere.

We worked with what we have and built a lovely space.

The location is great. We’re just across from the Opera House and Lavitt’s Quay, so it’s great for workers.

We do early classes at 6.30am, and we’ll be adding 7.30am classes in the next few weeks, then we have express 30-minute lunchtime classes at 1.10pm. We’ve adapted to what people want, and as we grow we want to add more classes to suit everyone working in the city centre.

The staff of One Life Fitness Gym located on Mulgrave Road.Credit: Damian Coleman.
The staff of One Life Fitness Gym located on Mulgrave Road.Credit: Damian Coleman.

Tell us a bit about your staff.

We have four fitness instructors. I’m a qualified fitness instructor and personal trainer. Then we have Seán, who is coming into our head trainer role, Jessica, Sharon, and Johnny. Sharon has a background in kickboxing with a couple of world titles. Jessica played for the Republic of Ireland in football. Seán has played inter-county football and hurling for Cork, and Johnny has played inter-county for Cork as well.

When we’re looking for staff, we’re always looking for people that have a high-standard sporting background.

Sonia is our admin and front of house lady and she meets and greets everyone and makes sure everyone is happy. Veronica is our assistant manager. She works on sales and everything like that.

We have others that come in, like Martina, a personal trainer, and Jorge, who does our Monday and Wednesday L1FT classes and R1DE on Saturday. He’s a qualified Les Mills instructor, which is an organisation that does things like our L1FT classes. We’re bringing in Zumba soon too, and that’s going to be someone from outside as well.

What kind of people use the gym?

We have a mixed clientele, but young professionals working in the city centre would be our target market.

We have a lot of Spanish and Brazilians coming from the Cork English College. They’ve been asking for Zumba.

What sets you apart from others?

The difference with us is the meet and greet you’ll get at the door from the girls. The unique reception area. We’re developing that into more of a coffee shop soon too. We’re going down the beginner-friendly gym route, trying to make everyone as comfortable as possible. That’s what sets us apart, our customer service and how much we care for the members.

What’s in the future for you?

We’re happy with where we are at the moment, but it’s only going to get better and we’re extremely excited for the future. We’re bringing in that coffee machine and a bunch of fridges that will make it more of a club atmosphere.

We’re building the gym up. This is only the first of them. We’re already looking at another premises in Cork. The plan is to open up a lot more of these.”

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